If the road to the UN was open to the Palestinians before, now there may as well be a red carpet on it. It goes without saying that Kerry’s blaming of Israel for the blow-up in the peace talks is a great thing, a bigger win for the fight against the occupation than anyone could have expected to come out of this process. From the time about a year ago that these negotiations were a twinkle in Kerry’s eye, the name of the game for Israel and the Palestinians was to avoid being held responsible for their inevitable failure. The…Read More...
Palestinian UN bid
The current round of peace talks can only continue if the U.S. changes its approach, a senior Fatah official says. The PLO will seek membership in an additional 48 international organizations, treaties and conventions if peace talks are not salvaged by the end of this month, Ma’an news agency quoted senior Palestinian official and Fatah Executive Committee member Nabil Shaath as saying on Monday. PLO Chairman -- and PA President -- Mahmoud Abbas began the process of acceding to 15 international treaties and conventions last week after Israel failed to follow through with the release of a fourth group of…Read More... | 30 Comments
While Obama's speech was biased, antiquated and problematic, it did include a handful of statements, ideas and words that provide even the slightest bit of hope. By Moriel Rothman So. Huh. President Barack Obama just finished his speech here in Jerusalem, a few blocks away from where I am sitting. I want to get some thoughts out, initial reactions before I delve into others’ analyses, interpretations, et cetera. The speech was, as we all knew that it would be, filled with strategic gloop designed to make Israelis feel good. Most of it was vague, theoretical, and not substantially or symbolically different than…Read More... | 14 Comments
In spite of the headlines, the international media attention, and the flow of pictures showing celebrating Palestinians waving flags – the UN resolution sparked little excitement or joy in the streets of Ramallah, which is still surrounded by walls and settlements on all sides. If anything, it was an evening of sadness and despair. Traveling to Ramallah for the late-night public screening of Palestine's UN bid, I was not expecting much. Journalists who spent the day in the West Bank had already reported that very little was going on, that PA sponsored rallies had attracted only few people in the…Read More... | 8 Comments
Palestinians throughout the West Bank gathered, first in anticipation, then in celebration of their bid for upgraded status at the United Nations. In a 138-9 vote, with 41 abstentions, the UN General Assembly voted to change Palestine's status from "nonmember observer entity" to "nonmember observer state." The landslide victory, including many European nations that changed their vote in the final days from opposing to supporting or abstaining, handed a major diplomatic triumph to President Mahmoud Abbas despite fierce opposition from the United States and Israel. The only other UN members who voted against the bid were Panama, Palau, Canada, Marshall…Read More... | 2 Comments
An assertive Palestinian diplomatic strategy exposes the obsolete nature of America’s foreign policy with relation to the Middle East. Eyal Clyne argues that the US is increasingly isolated and faces worse if it fails to provide more support to the future Palestinian state. By Eyal Clyne The anticipated American veto of the vote to admit Palestine as a full member of the UN is not surprising. Since 1972, the US has vetoed 80 resolutions of the Security Council; almost 54% of those vetoes have been in defence of Israeli interests (mostly countering resolutions condemning settlements, and investigations of Israel’s violations…Read More... | 23 Comments
Israel’s number one journalist, Nahum Barnea of Yediot Aharonot, wrote the following today about the immediate prospects for violence in the West Bank as a result of the UN showdown:: “Surprising as it sounds, the IDF and Israel Police both figure that the greatest danger at the moment is not from the Palestinian side, but from the Jewish side. ‘Price tag’ operations by settler extremists are spreading. Eight mosques have been attacked in the last two weeks with no arrests of any culprits being made. The Shin Bet stands helpless in the face of these events. While the Palestinian leadership…Read More... | 16 Comments
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Assault on Gaza
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